Airport strike ends after security costs agreement

The finance ministry will up its share of security costs for El Al, Arkia and Israir from 70% to 97.5%, as part of the Open Skies agreement.

El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) and the Ministry of Finance have reached agreement over the higher security costs that the airline is required to pay as an Israeli carrier, thus ending the strike that began Sunday in protest against the Open Skies agreement. The security costs agreement was hammered out between Ministry of Finance officials and El Al executives. Treasury officials said that, "El Al understood that the Open Skies agreement is a fait accompli."

Minister of Finance Yair Lapid welcomed the agreement and said, "There is now nothing to prevent a return to work and the operation of flights, bringing an immediate end to the strike." Shortly after the agreement was reached, the Histadrut announced that tomorrow's strike had been called off and that Israel's three airlines would resume normal services.

Sources in the Israeli aviation industry breathed a sigh of relief this evening at the news that the agreement had been reached. Under the agreement the Ministry of Finance will now pay for 97.5% of security costs subject to streamlining by El Al. The 97.5% rate will also apply to Arkia Airlines Ltd., and Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd..

At present the Ministry of Finance covers 70% of security costs and it was previously committed to raise this to 80% in April 2014 as part of the Open Skies agreement.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on April 22, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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